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Death Worship - Extermination Mass - 70%

BirthOfDisease, May 22nd, 2020
Written based on this version: 2016, Digital, Nuclear War Now! Productions (Bandcamp)

At first glance, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Death Worship are a continuation of Conqueror. Same members and same core sound, it does seem that way at first glance. But that's not the case here. Ryan Forster and J. Read have gone on to bigger things since the ending of Conqueror back in '99 - Forster to Blasphemy as their second axeman, and J. Read went on to begin his current titan, Revenge - and as such, they've tacitly decided not to ape the masterpiece that was War.Cult.Supremacy, not to their detriment but not to their benefit either; instead opting to take a... generic sound, if that's the best descriptor? Probably not, as that implies I think of this EP negatively, which I absolutely don't. Maybe a more apt one would be generalised, palatable to any fan of bestial black metal.

Coming out of the gate with Abomination Storm, the full release is a solid block of music, no real downsides or weak points. Excellent drumming from Read, with his typical ferocity on the kit being the highlight of the musical backing, in my opinion, going very nicely with Forster's guitars/bass/vocals. Coming as a very nice surprise was Black Winds, Forster's bandmate in Blasphemy, providing backing vocals spattered throughout the album. As a Blasphemy fangirl I appreciated this quite a bit, and the tracks he was on only benefitted from his being on them, leaving me kind of wishing he was the vocalist instead of Forster. But then it'd basically be Blasphemy with Revenge's drummer, instead of its own entity.

I must say overall though, the EP isn't perfect. Far from it. With the members being in other bands that command their focus, they can't put 100% into their stuff, and it shows. While none of the songs are bad, they do sound very samey at parts, blending into one and not necessarily in a good way. Not a whole lot stands out and largely sounds like garden-variety war metal. I don't hold it against them by any means, and it's competent throughout, but it's still a shame, as I love their previous work.

The production is adequate, perfectly fitting for their style; somewhat muddy but not too much, bottom-heavy, vocals distorted a good amount - maybe even double-tracked? who knows! - and cavernous drums. Not too much to say, aside from it gets the job done.

As I've mentioned, the EP isn't bad by any stretch. I feel in fact that it's a good sign of things to come, and indeed I did enjoy the sequel release, 2019's Plague Mass, a good amount more. It does feel a little samey at parts, though it may be due to being early days, not having worked together extensively since Conqueror and such. Hopefully, with Revenge having released Strike.Smother.Dehumanize at the time of writing, Forster and Read can get into a few Zoom meetings and record the next Death Worship effort. I'll wait with baited breath!

Highlights: Desolation Summoning, The Chaos Trance


No Remorse - 75%

torchia, February 14th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2016, Digital, Nuclear War Now! Productions (Bandcamp)

Musical supergroups are often best avoided, especially within metal - the clash of big-haired, perpetual adolescent egos and differing approaches to their 'art' colliding in a result that is later found in bargain bins and the also-ran columns of polished turd publications.

However, due care would be sensible when attempting to lump Death Worship into the above category. Indeed, while the pedigree of its participants is a war metal wet dream, comprised of Blasphemy, Conqueror and Revenge veterans, there's a tangible (and wholly intentional) air of disdainfulness that wafts about the project, quick to shut down any faux camaraderie and further dilutions of their 'die-hards only' aural bedlam.

The 'Exterminaton Mass' EP received a limited edition release at the Nuclear War Now! Fest Volume 5 in November 2016 to fairly solid critical acclaim. Though some dissenting voices have considered the release par for the course for all concerned and questioned its worth, it is arguable that Death Worship, in a refinement of elements, presents an approach and sound more bewitching and varied than its better known forbears.

Of course, comparisons to Conqueror and Revenge are thoroughly obvious, if not even a tad lazy - but a band fronted by the likes of R. Förster and J. Read was only ever going to produce one sound. In a recent interview, Förster described Death Worship as his interpretation of the natural progression of that which began with Conqueror, while Read has done similarly with the unrelenting savagery that is Revenge.

All ingredients considered, including a backing vocals appearance by Nocturnal Grave Desecrator and Black Winds (of Blasphemy), 'Extermination Mass' does adhere quite closely to the Conqueror/Revenge/Axis of Advance (and altogether Canadian) school of black/death metal, with its militant, precision machine-gun percussion, distorted diesel engine heaviness, inhuman vocalisations and the odd unbridled guitar solo.

Don't expect a memorable riff or anything that really sets one track apart from the others. Much like Revenge, Death Worship primarily set out to create an atmosphere of unrelenting attack and hatred, but something that this EP can boast is the welcome presence of a few well placed, toe-tapping hooks, an element Förster himself has commented is all too lacking in the output of many contemporary acts pushing this particular style of metal and unreservedly influenced by Blasphemy et al.

Though acts such as Tetragrammacide and Nyogthaeblisz have taken black/death metal to its most extreme (yet still enjoyable) regions, generally sounding closer to harsh noise with blast beats, Death Worship's application of experience, classic structures and injections of an unflinchingly heavy metal heritage does lend its out-turn a certain something about which many similar bands remain clueless - with only the likes of Revenge and New Zealand's Diocletian and Witchrist coming close to emulating that Conqueror legacy.

*Originally published on, 25 January 2017.